Bill introduces reforms to program to cut on waste and abuse
A new act was introduced to the House of Representatives yesterday seeks to update the "Lifeline" FCC program. The intent of the legislation is to expand the Lifeline program, and offer recipients the option of discounted telephone, mobile, and now, internet broadband access. The FCC chairman-supported bill was introduced on April 24 by representatives Doris Matsui (D-CA), Henry Waxman (D-CA), and Anne Eshoo (D-CA).
Deal worth $307M leaves Telefonica to work on 4G services
BskyB is acquiring Telefonica UK's landline and home broadband services. The deal, claimed to be worth around £200 million ($307 million) will see Sky become the second largest Internet service provider in the country, thanks to the addition of an extra 500,000 customers from Telefonica's Internet services, O2 and BE.
Fiber-to-the-home to reach 35M more households by Q4 2013
The Chinese government hopes to cover more than 70-percent of Internet users in the country with a 4M broadband service by the end of 2013. The announcement from Miao Wei, a minister working for China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) is part of an initiative to increase the number of households with fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) options by over 35 million.
Exede service boasts 12Mbps connection speed, capless periods
DirecTV has announced the packages for its satellite broadband service it has created with ViaSat. Dubbed Exede, the 12Mbps satellite connection is being aimed towards rural customers that lack cable or fiber broadband access, and is offering a $10 monthly discount and a refunded installation fee to initial sign-ups.
Middle-mile network offers 10Gbps connections to businesses
EarthLink has completed construction on its fiber optic network in Tennessee, a project it started in 2011. The Eastern Tennessee Middle Mile Fiber Broadband Project laid more than 500 miles of fiber in “underserved communities” across the state, running between Nashville and Knoxville from east to west, and between Blountville and Chattanooga.
University to spend three years making OOFDM commercially viable
Scientists are working on a way to improve broadband speeds to 2,000 times that of what is currently offered to users. A team of researchers for Bangor University in the UK have succeeded in creating a 20-gigabit fiber optic connection, and will spend the next three years working on making it more commercially viable.
Service hopes to bring broadband to rural US
Dish Network is set to launch its nationwide satellite broadband service in the US. Called dishNET, the service is a collaboration between Dish, ViaSat and Hughes, and hopes to offer the 14.5 million rural residents under-served by DSL and cable internet providers a satellite broadband connection, claimed to be as high as 10Mbps.
Low bandwidth caps, high excess charges hurting users
Broadband caps in Canada are too low and too costly, according to a Netflix executive. Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos called out the Canadian Internet service providers at the Merrill Lynch Media, Communications and Entertainment conference earlier this week, echoing other bandwidth-related comments against the country's ISPs earlier this year.
Connect America Fund beneficiary of additional funds
The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is evaluating a plan to place a new tax on broadband Internet service. The move would generate funds for the Connect America Fund, a subsidy created from the Universal Service Fund in 2011 to expand Internet access to rural and underserved areas. The FCC issued a request for comment on the proposal in April.
Broadband to be bundled with TV service
Dish Network is reportedly preparing to rollout satellite broadband service to complement its existing television services. The company already offers satellite broadband in a limited number of markets, as part of a collaborative partnership with California-based communications company ViaSat, however the upcoming service is said to utilize EchoStar satellites and coverage across the entire contiguous US.
Per-GB price reduced
T-Mobile has announced that it is changing its prepaid mobile broadband offerings to include several additional data caps and a new pricing structure. The one-week pass has jumped from $10 to $15, however customers will be able to utilize 300MB of data instead of 100MB for the seven-day span.
Verizon HomeFusion LTE rolls out from pilot scheme
Verizon is making its HomeFusion residential LTE boadband available across the US from May 3. The service has moved from a pilot program to a full product as an alternative to typical cable and DSL connections.
Router and adapter extend home networks
Buffalo Technology is entering the Powerline-based broadband extension accessory markets later this year with the Airstation Nfinity PL-05H adapter and the WPL-05G300 router and wireless access point. The Powerline system can be used to extend a broadband network by transmitting data over household electrical wiring, allowing any room in a home to be used as an access point where a wireless network can be created. The new products are also faster than previous Powerline versions.
Rhode Island, Comcast fastest state and ISP
Pando Networks has announced its findings on US broadband speed averages, finding Austin the top city for fast internet downloading, with Rhode Island the fastest state and Comcast the fastest average ISP. The software consulting and analytics firm tested 10 million downloads (mostly games) of software using Pando's cloud-based distribution network. The Texas town has emerged as a tech hotspot with the recent additions of Samsung and Apple.
Tech to be introduced at CES
ViaSat has announced plans to offer new satellite broadband plans for residential customers in the US. The company's upcoming offering will enable subscribers sign up for 12 Mbps broadband service for $50 per month.
On-demand gaming for computers, TVs, tablets
OnLive has announced that its cloud-based gaming service is now available to customers in the UK. The initial launch, which will be formally introduced later today at the 2011 Eurogamer Expo, will enable users to access approximately 150 games via broadband connections and a television, PC or Mac computer, and iPads or Android-based tablets.
Agency sees big improvement since 2009 survey
A report issued today by the Federal Communications Commission shows broadband speeds in the U.S. are now significantly closer to what Internet service providers advertise than they were in 2009. The report found that actual download speeds provided by the majority of U.S. broadband providers were within 80 percent or better of companies' advertised speeds. In 2009, download speeds were more often around 50 percent of the advertised rate.
Company points to U-verse as superior tech
Speaking at the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners gathering in Los Angeles, AT&T chief executive Randall Stephenson reportedly labeled his company's DSL broadband technology "obsolete." In a follow-up statement, the company suggests Stephenson's comments should not be taken as an indicator that AT&T does not "remain fully committed to the technology—even as we constantly look to bring innovation to the marketplace."
Plans now start at 30GB, raise to 500GB
Canadian Internet provider Telus has modified its broadband plans, raising the monthly data caps for the various levels of service. The High Speed Lite plan now allows customers to use 30GB, rather than limiting the entry-level option to just 13GB. The upgraded High Speed, Optik High Speed/High Speed Turbo, and Optik High Speed Turbo/High Speed Turbo 25 caps have been doubled to reach 150GB, 250GB and 500GB, respectively.
FCC says US behind on broadband
An FCC report has shown that the US continues to lag behind the leading countries in the OECD when it comes to the Internet. Out of 29 countries evaluated for their mobile and fixed broadband adoption rates, the US ranked only 9th and 12th, respectively. Fixed broadband has been adopted by 63 percent of US households leaving it behind adoption rates in countries such as the UK, South Korea and Iceland.
200MB plan to drop overage penalty
According to a source, T-Mobile may be adding a new 2GB mobile broadband plan. If confirmed, the new plan would cost $40 per month, and would be discounted to $32 per month when added to an existing voice contract. In addition, the source says T-Mobile plans to drop overage charges for the current $30/200MB plan and will instead throttle speeds when that limit is reached. Both changes are reportedly set to take effect Thursday, April 28.
Commission asks for input on "need for speed" info
The FCC is currently seeking comment on a proposal to simplify and standardize the presentation of broadband Internet plans to consumers. The Commission suggests many consumers are left uninformed regarding many of the essential differences between ISP offers, which tend to use a wide range of marketing techniques and inconsistent gauges for essential information such as connection speeds.
Startup must still disprove interference claims
Confirming a leak that emerged earlier this week, the FCC has officially approved a proposal from satellite-broadband startup LightSquared. The move will lift a requirement that barred companies from deploying terrestrial phone networks using spectrum originally allocated for satellite-based phone systems. The startup now will be able to lease portions of its airwaves for standard smartphones while the company expands its satellite broadband endeavors.
Goal tied with infrastructure spending
President Barack Obama has called for wireless broadband Internet expansion well beyond the goals previously set by the FCC's National Broadband Plan. The president has bumped the availability target up to 98 percent of all Americans. Moving toward the higher number is touted as a way to help boost the economic recovery through increased infrastructure spending.
Company to be granted waiver
The FCC is reportedly set to grant a waiver to a startup, LightSquared, that specializes in satellite-based broadband. The Commission has yet to formally announce its decision, however sources have told The Washington Post that the agency supports LightSquared's proposal, which is viewed as a way to promote competition in the wireless broadband market.
Company considering dynamic throttling
Charter Communications is reportedly planning to strictly enforce data caps for broadband customers, sources have told DSL Reports. Despite executives' promises that data caps would only be enforced in extreme situations, unnamed support representatives suggest the company will give two warnings before suspending service for up to six months unless customers switch to a business-level agreement.
Spectrum to be used for wireless broadband
The FCC on Thursday moved forward with its plans to reallocate satellite spectrum to be used for wireless broadband purposes. The Commission has focused on several proposals that aim to provide companies with more flexibility for land-based use of the satellite bands.
Site launches ahead of schedule
Best Buy has accidentally confirmed its Connect mobile 3G service ahead of schedule. The company quietly published a website for the new service, however the pages were quickly removed. Earlier reports suggest the offering is actually based on Sprint's network, but rebranded specifically for the retailer.
Grants and loans to be matched by $200m investment
President Barack Obama has promised an additional $800 million for loans and grants related to broadband expansion throughout the country. The funds represent a portion of the latest federal stimulus package, which totals approximately $800 billion.
Recommendations set for National Broadband Plan
The US is considering the possibility of providing free wireless Internet access, according to a statement (PDF) released by the FCC. The draft broadband plan, discussed at the recent Digital Inclusion Summit, outlines a variety of strategies aimed at expanding the percentage of connected Americans to 90 percent, from the current situation which leaves 35 percent without broadband.
Broadband bill approval
A bill pertaining to accelerating growth of broadband service was recently passed through both the Senate and the House, and is currently undergoing its final approval at the Senate and the President. PC Mag writes that measure S. 1492 seeks to ensure underserved communities are provided with proper service, as well as updating the government's definition of what broadband service is. The FCC considers 200 Kilobits per second to be broadband, which is not concurrent with modern technology.